Organic food and drink sales rise to record levels in the UK

Mollinsburn & Highland Bakery

It’s good news for organic producers in Scotland and across the UK as the latest market report has revealed that organic food and drink sales rose by 6% last year to a record £2.2billion.

According to the report, this is the sixth year of consecutive growth, which has been fuelled by strong growth through independent outlets and home delivery which outpaced sales in rival supermarkets.

Sales of organic products in supermarkets rose by 4.2% to £1.5bn, while independents – delis, fine food stores, health shops, farm shops, farmers’ markets and retailers such as New Leaf Co-op – enjoyed a 9.7% sales jump to £359m. Home delivery services including box schemes saw a jump of 9.5% to £286m.

You can read more about the statistics and information from the report on The Guardian‘s website.

A potential increase in sales of organic produce is something that we have been predicting, based on the increased area of in-conversion land in Scotland (a process which takes two years), as well as an increase in demand for organic crops.

The organic market now accounts for 1.5% of the total UK food and drink market. With 70% of Scotland’s organic farmers being SOPA members, it’s a positive time for producers north of the border.

SOPA Policy Manager Debs Roberts had the following to say about the latest report:

“It’s fantastic to see that sales of food and drink are continuing to rise in the UK. We’re continuing to see an increase in demand, particularly for organic crops, in Scotland, so it’s positive to see that this is translating right through to consumer purchasing.”

Prospective organic farmers are being warned not to miss out on vital payments as the application window is now open and closes on Friday 13th April 2018. This is a crucial period for anyone looking to take advantage of the funding options for organic maintenance and conversion.

It’s important to discuss conversion planning, and to decide on the best start date for individual conversion before going ahead.

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